Hamas terrorists released a videotape Saturday purportedly showing a bombmaker believed to top Israel's most-wanted list celebrating the Gaza Strip pullout as a victory for armed resistance.To the Israelis, he said:
Senior Hamas commander Mohammed Deif, who masterminded the deaths of dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings, also urged the destruction of the Jewish state.
"You are leaving Gaza today in shame," Deif said. "Today you are leaving hell. But we promise you that tomorrow all Palestine will be hell for you, God willing."To the Palestinians:
"We did not achieve the liberation of the Gaza Strip without this holy war and this steadfastness," he said, adding that attacks should continue until Israel is eradicated.
And finally, a news organization that writes a fact:
Israel's obliteration is Hamas' ultimate goal.Scarier still, and possibly very revealing, is the PA's response to Deif's comments.
Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, a spokesman for the Palestinian Interior Ministry, which oversees security in Palestinian-controlled areas, said Hamas remains committed to a cease-fire Israel and the Palestinians declared in February.There seems to be only one way in which this makes sense. Deif is encouraging Hamas and others to commit more terror attacks against Israel, yet, the PA sees 'nothing new' in Hamas' position. Does this mean Hamas' view of the 'truce' is that it is meaningless? Based on earlier events (not yet claimed by any organization), at least some Palestinians agree with Deif. Meanwhile, Hamas is slowly building up further support to turn Gaza into a terror state in January.
"It wasn't secret that a Hamas military wing in Gaza exists, and Mohammed Deif is still alive," he said. "All Palestinian factions are committed to the truce, including Hamas, and we see nothing new in Hamas' position toward the truce."
With Palestinian parliamentary elections nearing, the Deif videotape also was Hamas' latest salvo in a power struggle between militants and the Palestinian government over who should receive credit for the Gaza withdrawal.
Hamas claims that years of suicide bombings and rocket attacks drove the Israelis out. Abbas, a vocal critic of violence who aspires to renewing peace talks with Israel, has tried to shore up his standing with promises he can improve life in Gaza after the withdrawal.
In an open challenge to Abbas, Deif rejected calls to disarm, though he said differences between Palestinian groups should be resolved through peaceful dialogue.Meaning all of Israel.
"We warn against touching these weapons, and want to keep them as an effective element to liberate the rest of our homeland," he said.